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June 12, 2022

ism / noun / ˈi-zəm

The word "ism" is a unique suffix we use in the English language as its own word. "ism" is by definition the representation of a "teaching, doctrine, or following" that large groups of people subscribe to. The word "ism" has recently become popularized in language as we all develop our own ideas, thoughts, and theories about how the world should work. Anyone can create their own "ism," which is a unique viewpoint and outlook on the functions of society and how they should work.

In a Sentence

Many cult followings are based on the beliefs or "ism" of the cult leaders.

Most of us develop our own "isms" and perspectives on how we think others should behave.

Adding "ism" to the end of most words shows a study, doctrine, or following in some area.


We began using the word "ism" as its own word and not just a suffix in the late 16th century, around 1670. Etymologists say we find examples of the word "ism" across many languages, including French, Latin, Spanish, and Greek. The term "ism" has recently become popularized in English as social media becomes more popular and people segment into various groups based on shared beliefs.


Congregation, Faith


Agnosticism, Ambiguity


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